Monday, November 30, 2009

A Thanksgiving Miracle

Remember my no-good-very-bad-day only eleven days ago? When I realized that daughter's passport was expired only three weeks and a few days before she was set to leave for Australia?

The universe heard my weeping because her shiny new passport arrived today. Only eleven days after we applied for it and those eleven days included Thanksgiving weekend.

I'm going to take the fact that a governmental bureaucracy has operated swiftly and efficiently as proof that Obama is the new messiah.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Go Ahead. Make My Day.

We went to Marvelous Mom and Stepdan's house the other night to celebrate Stepdan and Russian SIL's birthdays. Math Genius Brother, Russian SIL and the most Beautiful Nieces in the Whole Universe are here visiting from the other side of the mountains so we didn't really NEED an excuse to get together but the birthdays gave us one anyway.

Rather uncharacteristically, Grandmother came along with us. She doesn't usually leave the house in the evenings - it probably has something to do with her habit of putting her pajamas on at four o'clock in the afternoon - but she decided to be sociable and join the party.

Doesn't she look like she's having fun?

I laughed my head off when I saw this picture. Husband was snapping pictures left and right and managed to get this not terribly flattering shot of Grandmother. She is the female version of Dirty Harry.

All of us Grandkids have been on the receiving end of this. look. but I don't think I've ever seen it captured on film. I don't want to know what Husband said to make her look at him like this. She gives the hairy eyeball better than anyone else I know.

This one is for all my cousins. What did YOU do to get THE LOOK? We could talk about parties thrown while parents were out of town that Grandmother crashed, smartass sassing back that earned a slap across the face, children that had to be chased around the house by Grandmother and siblings to get the little monster to go to bed, babies that screamed from the time their parents left for a much needed night out until they came home several hours later...

She has given us all THE LOOK - her two sons included - but she is also a constant in our lives. No matter what is happening or how badly we have screwed up, Grandmother is there for us. She gives us THE LOOK and then gives us a hug and helps us out however she can.

We're so lucky to have Dirty Harry for a Grandmother.

I'm just glad she's not packing heat.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Murphy's Law Part 2

When I woke up on Thursday morning I was so freaking thankful that the day before was over and surely today will be better. A homework assignment for my 8:45am class is due and I didn't finish it because of the shitstorm the day before but partial credit is better than no credit. (See, I'm an optimist at heart.) After getting the kids to their schools, I head to mine, sit through class and then go to the school library to work on the pile of homework I have to do.

At 1:15 I head out to the parking garage - I have to pick Thing 2 up from school at 2:30 - get to my car and the front drivers side tire is totally flat.


After having a small hissy fit right there next to my car, I pull out my phone and call Husband. Of course he is about 30 miles away at a job site so I call AAA to come rescue me. I *could* have put the spare tire on myself (maybe) but we pay for triple A so they can jolly well earn some of that money. They assure me that a "service provider" will arrive within an hour so I go back into the main building of the school to call Thing 2's school and arrange for him to wait for me at the science club meeting and I wait for my knight in shining armor.

He is there and has the flat tire off (it has a nail the size of a small child in it) and puts on the spare tire in one hour. YAY TRIPLE-A!!!

I zoom to the tire place, drop off the flat tire, zoom home to switch to the new car that doesn't have a tiny spare tire on it, zoom to Thing 2's school to pick him up, zoom to the high school to pick Daughter up from dance practice, zoom home to drop off Thing 2 and zoom to the passport office where we are meeting husband. (Both parents have to be present for a minor to get a passport OR you have to have a notarized letter from the not present parent saying it's ok for their kid to have a passport.) We get in just as they're re-opening after lunch (at 4pm, weird), there is no one there so we can get done fast, YAY!

She looks at the photos and says the passport might get rejected because her head is not facing totally forward.

My maniacal laughter startles the poor passport worker but I cannot help it - at this point it is simply hysterical how many different things have gone wrong for me in just two days. None of them are life threatening to everyone - and for that I am extremely thankful - but the continuousness of one thing after another has shattered my sanity.

It felt like being pecked to death by ducks.

So we went to Costco, got new photos (for free, they're supposed to know what the hell they are doing), returned to the passport office, turned in all our paperwork plus eleventy-million dollars and Daughters passport should be here JUST in time for her trip.

That was Thursday and I am happy to report nothing else went wrong. Life is back to normal - or as normal as it gets here at the funny farm - and for that I am eternally grateful.

Murphy can go bother someone else for awhile.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Murphy's Law

Normally I am an optimistic person - sometimes to the point of being obnoxiously perky, or so I've been told - but the past few days have made a dent in my usually sunny disposition. I have an unbelievable amount of schoolwork to do but I don't think I'll be able to focus until I get the events of the past few days off my chest and written down here where they damn well better stay!

Tuesday night husband made dinner and helped the kids with their homework so I could study for a final exam in my history class on Wednesday morning. I studied my BUTT off (I wish) and went into class at 8:45am on Wednesday feeling prepared and even a little cocky. (That's probably what set Murphy's Law into action - I was too damn sure of myself.) When everyone else started putting a sheet of paper on the desk at the front of the classroom it hit me, WE HAD AN ASSIGNMENT DUE TOO! I didn't not understand the assignment, run out of time to finish it or simply blow it off - I totally and completely forgot about it. I have never EVER done that! At least not since I've been in college, I'm sure I forgot about assignments all the time in high school but that was a long time ago when I was young and stupid so it doesn't count.

So after finishing the final I went to the library, did the assignment that I had totally and completely spaced out and emailed it to my professor. She gives everyone one "freebie" each quarter to email an assignment rather than give her a hard copy but it is still late so I won't get full credit. Damn.

Then Scientist Genius Brother emails me asking for the email with the confirmation number on it so he and Daughter can get their tickets at the airport when they leave on their trip. I look through my emails and I don't have it so I tell him that HE must have it. He sends another message that no, he doesn't have it. So I call Qantas Airlines to find out what happened. With no confirmation number the guy - who I had a tough time understanding because of his sexy Australian accent - searches by the flight number which I wrote down when I bought the tickets. There is NO SUCH FLIGHT NUMBER. My heart starts to pound and I stutter incoherently into the phone.

Keep in mind this entire phone conversation is taking place while I am in the commons at school. Not exactly a quiet place to concentrate on getting very important information.

The very sexy voice asks if I have the credit card I bought the tickets with so he can search using the card number. (I bought the tickets because Scientist Genius Brother couldn't figure out the Qantas website - he is the stereotypical absent minded professor!) That I do have so I give it to the sexy voice, my heart in my throat. He finds the reservations and casually mentions that the reason that flight number doesn't exist is because it was cancelled.

I almost puke.

Then he continues on to tell me that their itinerary has been changed due to the flight being canceled but they still leave San Francisco and arrive in Melbourne - sharks with frickin' lasers! - at about the same time. My heart and stomach go back where they belong and I resume breathing. Apparently they sent the confirmation email to Scientist Genius Brother but they had the email wrong so he never got it. I give the correct address to sexy voice and he assures me that the confirmation email will be re-sent. So I call the Genius and tell him to let me know the minute he gets the email.

Then he reminds me that I need to get an ETA visitor Visa for Daughter. Its very simple, just filling out a form online and getting a confirmation number. They just need her name, info, passport number and all that other stuff. So after my second class, picking up Thing 2 from school and Daughter from dance practice, I go into my office to get her passport so I can fill out the ETA Visa form.

Her passport is not with all the other passports in the safe designated place for important papers that I need to grab if the house is on fire.

Heart and stomach immediately start leaping around inside my body.

"I CAN'T FIND YOUR PASSPORT!!! ARRRRGGGGHHHH" (I scream while tossing papers all over my desk.)

"Oh, I know where it is. I'll go grab it." She saunters nonchalantly up the stairs.

WTF is her passport doing upstairs and not with all the important papers WHERE IT BELONGS? I'm a bit wild by now from the several adrenaline rushes I've experienced but I manage to calm down and straighten up my desk while Daughter brings me her passport.

I have to interject here that I purchased the tickets for this trip on May 18th of this year. When I bought them I checked her passports expiration date and it said June 2010. No problem.

When she hands me her passport I open it up and the expiration date is June 2009. As in almost six months ago. They leave in three and a half weeks. Obviously I have fucked up to the n-th degree. I don't even get the satisfaction of going off on anyone because it is my own fault. Of course that doesn't stop me from screaming at husband (who is upstairs cooking dinner after working all day - yes he is the best husband on the planet and no you can't have him) "OH MY GOD HER PASSPORT IS EXPIRED WHAT AM I GOING TO DO OMG OMG OMG..."

He comes downstairs, peels me off the ceiling and calms me down enough to look on the state department's website to see how fast we can get a new passport for her. Expedited is 2-3 weeks. Too close for my comfort even with overnight return mail but we don't have a choice because you can't get a same day passport at the regional offices unless your trip is less than 14 days away.

Husband drops everything to take Daughter to Costco and get passport pictures and I start to get ready for that night's 7pm monthly meeting of the high school parent group that I am co-president of. I'm getting my stuff together and realize I'm missing a check for $250 that was donated to us by a very generous ex-member and parent. Back to panic mode. I have visions of having to call this person, thank her for the extremely generous gift and then ask if we can have another check because I am such a moron that I lost the first one she gave us.

My last ditch thought is maybe it is in my car. SHIT! Husband and daughter took the car that I was driving the last time I picked up parent group paperwork at the school! So I call Husband, he looks in the back seat and sure enough, the check is there. I can't bring it with me to the meeting because I have to leave now but at least I know where it is.

I was an absolute WRECK at the meeting but nothing went terribly wrong and when I got home the kitchen was clean, Daughters passport photos were on the counter waiting for us to go to the passport office on Thursday and the kids were all ready for bed. I drank a glass of wine and went to bed thinking thank GOD that day was over.

But Murphy wasn't done with me yet.

to be continued...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

OMG, I'm So Not Ready

In looking at the calendar today and trying to figure out how I'm going to get everything done between now and Christmas I realized that daughter leaves for Australia in THREE AND A HALF WEEKS!

This trip has been in the works for ages so I don't have the excuse of not knowing ahead of time but it was like "oh Christmas, well that's a LOOOONG time away yet". Except now - it's not.

I have to shop for gifts, make sure she has everything she needs, square it away with her teachers, and have a meltdown about letting my baby go to the other side of the world without me and I have to do it all in THREE AND A HALF WEEKS!

Where's a paper bag - I'm pretty sure that hyperventilating comes next.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

My Laminated List

According to Urban Dictionary, a laminated list is "a list of the top 5 people, usually celebrities, with whom you could have sex with without repercussions, if the opportunity arose, regardless of whether you were in a relationship or not". I think it originated with the television show Friends but that might be my imagination.

My list is a little odd according to SOME people but what can I say, I like old bald guys. (And besides, she's got the hots for Horatio Hornblower which is proof positive that she isn't in her right mind.)

First up is Johnny Depp who is on the laminated list of every heterosexual woman in the known universe. I fell in love with him in 1987 when, at the age of 13, I first saw him on the television show "21 Jump Street". I'm pretty sure that's the day my hormones kicked in. (Apologies to my parents for TMI.)

But c'mon, he is hotness personified. Droooool... And STFU about the fact that he's smoking. His shirt is off and that's all that matters.

Next is another popular actor, but with a caveat. I LOVE Orlando Bloom and would gladly sacrifice my marriage vows to him (back off, Husband can have Angelina Jolie with my blessing anytime she wants him) but he has GOT TO have pointed ears and long, blonde, straight hair and a quiver full of arrows on his back. He's hottest when he's Legolas from LOTR. Sigh...

The next one pretty much explains why I married husband. I mean check out the pic below and then check out the first picture in this post - I love Omar Sharif so much I married a guy that looks just like him!

I have endured several lifetimes worth of CRAP about the next person on my list but no matter, he is GOD as far as I'm concerned and the fact that he is a misogynistic pig and probably couldn't get it up with a barrel-ful of viagra does not change the fact that I've been in lust with him ever since I can remember. (At least he's still alive - unlike Omar up there.)

Sean Connery...

And last but certainly not least is Captain Picard. Er, I mean Patrick Stewart. Obviously I have a problem - Old and Bald is my fetish - but there is something about "Warp Speed Number One" in his silky accented voice that makes me weak in the knees and has for quite a few years now.

So there you go. Who's on your laminated list?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Business Cards

I realize that it is completely juvenile and idiotic but I have ALWAYS wanted business cards. They're just so grownup and, well, businesslike! None of my jobs (office assistant, house slave to three children, geriatric nurse, personal assistant and laundry folder for husband, volunteer sucker and student) have been the kind of jobs that I might get business cards for.

So I've decided to take the bull by the horns (or balls, I think that would be more effective) and order my own business cards. What do you think? This template came from Zazzle. I was gobsmacked at how many results come up when I googled "ridiculous business cards"!

Or should I change the "weird magnet" image to this one? I am NOT a Garfield fan but the sentiment seems appropriate...

This one is so accurate it's slightly alarming - like looking in a mirror - check out the bags under her eyes! If I picked it I would want extra points for honesty...

Or how about this? The spinning head and inability to pick which task to attend to first is a situation I have close, personal, intimate experience with...

So which one should I go with? Or I could Halloween-ize a photo of myself if I want to go for a business card that ensures I will never ever get called or emailed by anyone I give it to! That would be an anti-business card, I could give it to people who want me to volunteer for anything!

A twitter picture stolen from a tweet from one of the eleventy-zillion porn-spammers on twitter would be perfect for anything related to the kids being in trouble. I can imagine it now...

"My child punched/bit/threw up on/stole from/swore at your child? I am SO SORRY! Here is my business card, please call me at your convenience so we can discuss it. The phone call will cost you $5.00 a minute..."

Anti-business cards, now maybe that would be the way to go...

Just edited for a spelling error that daughter pointed out. I knew I had kids for a reason.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

For My Fellow Sufferers

This one is for all of you that share my pain in having to get a teenager out of bed in the morning to go to school.

Luann by Greg Evans

Thursday, November 5, 2009


I know I've been incredibly lazy about blogging lately but the fact is I am using up all the words in my head for schoolwork and when I get to do my fun stuff like fuck around on the internet, I have no words left to write so I just read other people's words. Or make stupid photo versions of my children. They REALLY love that.
Senior year - so far - is about a gajillion times harder than my first three years of school. I'm not sure if it's because I took the summer off and blocked my memories of how difficult school is or if it really is that much harder or I'm just getting stupid in my old age. (It's amazing how old 35 feels when you're in class with 18 and 19 year olds!)

I am working on some fascinating topics though and am considering writing a thesis about how Malcolm X and Nat Turner are linked philosophically. (75 pages minimum, what the HELL am I thinking?!?!) A proposal I wrote about it is where all the words in the picture above came from. Those are the kind of words that I'm using these days. Another class has us examining the Western genre in literature and film and how it reflects larger issues and claims about popular genres overall. (Go watch the 1952 film "High Noon" with Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly, avoid like the plague the film "Shane" with Alan Ladd but definitely read the novel by Jack Schaefer!) My third class is all about social research and is not difficult except that the material doesn't interest me one bit and I don't have a scientific mind so following the logic is not always easy for me. Luckily the professor is awesome so I won't fail miserably!

When I find more words, y'all will be the first to find out!